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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 6, 2013 10:00am-10:45am EDT

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specifically is what if we can learn. what we can learn from them specifically, talking about counterterrorism from israel or the united kingdom to improve ours. >> in substantive areas, in substantive areas like counterterrorism we work with other faculty members and other experts on a regular basis. .. >> i've done a great deal of work with the british equivalent institution which is a joint institution. so at the sort of faculty level,
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the relationship is excellent. i think there's a lot of cross-fertilization on lessons learned, lessoned identified as the british say. they always assume they're learned. [laughter] but, yes, that is, actually, a really excellent relationship. so -- >> yeah, i know i work on a regular basis with individuals on space security issues, and i'm going to geneva in the near future and ore places -- other places. so the substantive links are there. >> one other question. okay, the cold war between the u.s. and the soviet union is over, however, there may have been areas in which the soviets surpassed the united states in their military education. and now since relations are open, what are we learning, if anything? >> actually, the naval war college has a relationship with one of the soviet naval education institutions and, again, these are regular exchanges go on. what did we learn specifically?
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i know this is difficult to accept, but most of the time there is a presumption that we are the teacher, not the, not the recipient of the information. and maybe we ought to be looking more at that. but we work with these institutions, we gain in individual subject areas, but overall in terms of how to do the education itself we are the modelment -- model. if there are no more questions, thank you very much. i really appreciate the attention. [applause] >> you're watching booktv, 48 hours of nonfiction authors and books every weekend on c-span2. here are some programs to look out for this weekend. at 3:45 eastern, leyla gilbert, paul marshall and me saw shea discuss the persecution of christians around the world. and then at 7 we'll begin our
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prime time programming with the book "army of god," describing the crimes of joseph cohnny and his lord's resistance army in central africa. tomorrow afternoon we'll be live with amy goodman for three hours of "in depth." submit your questions on twitter, facebook or e-mail us at c-span.org. for a complete schedule, visit booktv.org. >> melanie warner is next. she reports on how food science has created inexpensive products that, according to the author, are devoid of nutritional value, addictive and of potential harm to one's health. mrs. warner examines the proclivity of processed foods and the commonly-used ingreed crepts which makes up approximately 70% of calories consumed in the united states. it's about 45 minutes.
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[applause] >> thank you so much and thank you, everyone, for being here to talk about the subject of processed food. i do hope that everyone has had their dinners already. [laughter] i always find that it's a little bit easier to talk about this once people have already eaten. i don't want to be responsible for spoiling anyone's meal. um, so this book, i think the origins of this book go way back for me to when i was a kid growing up with my mom long before it was fashionable my mom was someone who paid close attention to ingredient labels. she would go to the grocery store, and my brother and i often came with her, and she would wheel her cart down the aisle, and she was constantly picking up boxes. she'd bring them close to her face, she'd squint to read the ingredient labels, and as soon as she did this, my brother and
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i knew that we, basically, were not going to be getting whatever it was she had just picked up. so entire aisles were off limits. we couldn't get any of the fun cereal, any of the stuff that had cartoon characters on it, it was brightly colored. and she had a term that she used for all this food that we didn't buy. she called it gooped up. and this included anything with too much sugar or artificial food colorings, chemical preservatives and any other ingredients that he deemed to be suspect. she deemed to be suspect. so as you can imagine, this was incredibly annoying for by brother and i. kids, i have two young boys, and i see that if you put a healthy, nonprocessed version of a food down and then a processed version of a food down, they're going to pick the processed one every time. they're hard wired that way, or the food companies have figured out their hard wiring. so, but somewhere along the line, as often happens, you know, when you're 13, your parents are stupid and they
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don't know anything, and then you turn 30, and then they kind of seem a little bit smart. so the logic of my mom's world view sunk in, and i started -- took a job covering the food industry. i'd been a business reporter for many years, and i became fascinated by the food industry. and i remember going to this trade show, um, at one point. this was around 2004. and it was a trade show called ift, institute of food technologists. and i had no idea what a food technologist was as probably most people don't. and it was held many this giant convention center at the time, it was in new orleans, and there was about a thousand ingredient companies there selling all these strange ingredients. i remember seeing things like microparticulatedway protein and there were starches that had been modified to be used as a dietary fiber in products or as a fat replacer depending on the product. and everyone was talking about food, not so much food, they
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were talking about food as an application, as if it were a software program that you could put together. as in this is an ingredient for meat application, or this is an ingredient for cheese application. and i thought what the heck is a cheese application? i kind of thought the whole trade show, for me, had a very strange, surreal quality to it. i felt like a stranger in a strange land and that everyone was speaking a different language. and then i remember, i also remember at one point going up to a booth. a lot of these food companies would, the ingredient companies would create these prototype foods for everyone to try and to sample, and they would show -- they were done for the purpose of showcasing their ingredients. so i went up to this one booth, i saw they had some kind of a parfait in a plastic cup with a raspberry, so i thought, oh, that looks delicious, i'm going to try that. and i was tasting it, and it was sweet. it tasted pretty good, but it was kind offedly bland and in--
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oddly bland and indistinct. so i went up to the counter, and i asked the woman, what is this? what am i eating? what's the main ingredient? and she looked at me as if i had just asked what the temperature was on jupiter. she had absolutely no idea. no one had ever asked her this question before, so she turned to her colleague next to her who also didn't know. and after a few minutes she answered. she said, well, it's a cultured, it's cultured dairy. so i said, oh, it's yogurt? no, no, no, she said, it's not yogurt, it's a powdered dairy ingredient, you add water to it. so it occurred to me at that point that everything that this trade show, that was the case for everything at this trade show. everything was, essentially, a powder. it had been extracted, isolated, removed, refined from four particular crops, four commodities; corn, soybeans, wheat and milk. and these are the things that ingredient companies use to
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manufacture, to create the ingredients that go into manufacturing of processed food. and if you actually look in the supermarket and you look at ingredient lists, you'll find there are very few of the things that are actually in these foods are actual real, whole foods. they're these magical powders that companies are adding. so what i took away from this trade show was that technology had merged with food production to a much greater extent than we realized. and this was the story that i wanted to tell in this book. we were, it was if 2004, we were starting to learn a fair amount about what was happening on farms, these large industrial farms that produce a lot of our food. but we knew very little about what happened after that, what happened inside the factories, in the labs and the food industry. so i cover a lot in the book, i cover a lot of, a variety of these different products and the health implications of these products, and i will spare you
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most of the, most of the gory details and save that for the book. but i just, um, i just want to talk about one that i find, one ingredient that i find fascinating. and that's soybean oil. and one of the things about soybean oil is that it illustrates the extent to which the food industry really depends on us not knowing the story behind our food. it's one of these ingredients that's incredibly prevalent in our diets, in the american diet. it's about 10% of our total calories are coming from soybean oil, and to get a sense of how extensive this is, um, if you look at something like high fructose corn syrup, that's at about 8%. so most of the soybean oil or i should say pretty much all of the soybean oil is coming from processed food. it's from everything in the supermarket, and it's used to fry fast food. so hardly any of it is used for
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people to cook at home to make stir fries and things. so when i started researching the book, i wanted to be able to see how soybean oil is made firsthand, and there are four companies that make it in the u.s. including, um, some big companies you may have heard of like adm and cargill. and none of these companies would let me into their plants. and i always think that this is a mistake when companies do this, because journalists are always going to be able to find the story, to get the story regardless, and then the companies kind of look like the bad guy and like they have something to hide. so i spent a fair amount of time talking to food scientists and people that work at the company, and i read various available materials. and the production of soybean oil, um, basically goes like this: it involves the crushing of soybeans, pretty simple, and then something called hexing extraction. and this is, hexing is a chemical that comes from oil
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refining, petroleum refining i should say, and it is, it's a neurotoxin. it's regulated by the epa. and you basically get the oil out of soybeans much the way you do like you make coffee. you percolate the hexane through the soybeans, and it's very efficient. it's very cheap, and it's very efficient at getting the oil out. and then after that soybean oil tastes terrible at this point. brass si, beany, barnyard. i never had any desire to taste it, but that's the way it was described to me. after that it goes through a variety of other processes like degumming, bleaching, deowed rising, and that's to get all the flavors out. what the food industry wants is an oil that has absolutely no flavor because then you can put it into pretty much whatever you want. and also the deodorizing removes some of the healthy nutrients that would otherwise be in
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soybean oil like vitamin e and plantster olds. so it's one example of how processing often removes a lot of the nutrition that's inherently in food. and so, and then after all that there's still more. there's sometimes the oil is hydrogenated, and then there's this new process that's applied sometimes called innersterification. so that's how soybean oil is made. then you cut to the grocery store, and you walk down the aisles where the chips are sold, and you can find on packages that are made with soybean oil that the oil will be identified as a simple, natural ingredient. and then you can go to the aisle that sells the cooking oils, and there you'll see it listed as 100% natch a. so -- natural. and so even if you know just even a little bit about how soybean oil is made, the word "natural" is probably the last thing that comes to mind. and i saw this over and over
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again as i traveled throughout the food industry, that so much of our food is marketed in misleading ways. that makes it very difficult for us as consumers to, um, to make choices, to make really smart and informed choices about our food. one of my favorite examples is subway. i used to eat occasionally at subway before working on this book. now not so much anymore. i spent too much time looking at their ingredient list. but they've done an amazing job at marketing themselves as a healthy alternative to fast food. and this is partly deserved, because they do limit the amounts of fat and sodium in their products relative to mcdonald's and burger king. but they've also marketed, they've also come up with a slogan of eat fresh, and they've associated themselves with -- they're selling fresh food. i mean, that has an incredible appeal, right? people want fresh food.
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but if you look at, for instance, their bread, how it's made and what's in it, it becomes very clear that this is not, this is not grandma's homemade loaf. subway's bread, just to focus on the bread, is, um, is a classic example of industrial bread making. it has dough conditioners in it, a variety of them, and these are in there because in industrial bread making, bread is beaten up, it's thrashed about in these high-speed mixers, it's very abusive, and if you don't have dough conditioners, the bread will disintegrate and make a huge, giant mess. and then it's got this chemical in it that's kind of hard to pronounce. and this is in there also for manufacturing purposes, and it gives what, um, food scientists have this great terminology, and they call it a fine crumb structure. so this is to make bread look evenly -- all the air in bread to be evenly distributed. the perfect specimen of bread.
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visually, anyway. and this is one of these additives that, um, really it's quite a stretch to call it edible. it's being used outside of bread, and i should point out it's not just in subway's bread, it's in fast food bread and also in spread at the supermarket including ones that look super wholesome because they have the word "multigrain" on it. so outside of bread it's used in the production of foamed plastics, so that's things like yoga mats and the soles of your shoes and those rubber mats that you walk on at the gym. very likely the chemical has been used to make those. and there are some health implications with this, because it's been shown to -- there have been tests that have been done shown to break down the chemical into a carcinogenic compound called semicashside when heated such as when it's used in the
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baking process. and the fda knows this. but as they've done with many food additives, they've decided that the small amounts that remain in the final product are okay. that it's not, it's not going to cause a concern. and i talk about this a fair amount in the book, and i think that this is something that's really quite a bit up for debate. but the fda, the fda could ban this ingreed credibility, or it could put pressure on manufacturers to start usingless of it. -- using less. but what it's done is please, pretty please, just use a little bit less of it which, as far as i can tell, has pretty much been ignored by the food industry. um, and the point i'd like to make in talking about subway is that, yes, processed foods are sodas and chips and chicken mcnuggets and hot pockets -- that's one of my favorites -- and twinkies, and everything that taco bell, every new product that taco bell --
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strange product that they seem to come up with every other week -- but it's also a lot more than that. it's what subway sells, it's a lot of what's on the menu at applebee's and chili's, and even, i'm sad to say, the middle aisles at whole foods. just because whole foods sells it doesn't mean it's healthy. i know that's unfortunate. and this brings me to the section of the book that i wanted to read, a brief section, and it's a section about some organic chicken nuggets that i bought at whole foods, or actually that my husband bought at whole foods, and what happened to them. and the chapter is mostly about, it's called extended meat, and it's mostly about soy protein. but this is a section called liquid chicken. one day, not long after i began research for this book, my husband arrived home from the supermarket with yet another product that piqued my
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curiosity. he couldn't find our usual brand of breaded frozen chicken tenders for the kids, so he got a different variety. like so many frozen concoctions, these tenders are super convenient for working parents. i liked the bell and evans variety because they have a thick, meaty texture. instead of these, my husband got applegate farms organic chicken strips. after a few days, i heated up a serving. after heating up a serving, i noticed that the strips -- which looked more like nugget -- seemed kind of puffty. the texture was totally different from what i was used to. it was airy and spongy and not very meaty. this chicken struck me as highly processed, yet when i looked at the box, it informed me that the chicken i was eating was, in fact, minimally processed. quote-unquote. organic rice starch, sea salt and natural flavor in the chicken. in the breading there was wheat flour and a bunch of flavoring.
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intrigued and confused, i did what by now had become an occupational habit, i added the remaining frozen nuggets to my collection of aging food items, and i should preface that by saying many, many years ago i started collecting all this process food because i became curious about expiration dates to see how long it would last, and i have all this food still in my office. most of it has not molded, it hasn't gone bad, it doesn't smell. the fact that it's still in my office speaks volumes. so i added these frozen nuggets in a ziploc bag and just put it on a table in my office, nonrefrigerated. since they were organic, minimally processed and contained meat, i was prepared for an awful smell contaminating my office. instead i got something much more surprising. when i returned home from a trip about ten days later, i discovered that the applegate nuggets, which i'd placed in a ziploc bag looked -- left slightly opened, half the
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contents had liquefied. the whole thing was soft and mushy to the touch, and the color had darkened. a few days later, the other half of the chicken had liquified like thest rest. the nuggets had completed their dissolution, and now all i had was a runny brown mess. although in early 2012 pig swine beef became a poster child, chicken endures considerably more high-tech poking and prodding than beef. soy protein is hardly the only thing we're talking about. the chicken you find in the frozen aisles of the supermarket is almost never the same thing you would prepare at home. those frozen nuggets, tenders and breasts may sometimes start off as recognizable cuts of meat and use familiar ingredients, but then machines take over. more often than not, chicken is mixed under high pressure and tumbled together under high-abuse circumstances. that's in quotes, it's what the
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industry calls it. with a varying collection of other ingredients such as flavoring, starching and soy protein. then it's fashioned into tenders, nuggets, patties, boneless wings and rests. even in the cases where the meat is advertised as whole muscle, sodium phosphates help the meat take on water partly for profit and partly for rubber insurance. chicken, it turns out, is never just chicken. something doubly true for anything you find at a fast food restaurant. but this wasn't supposed to be the case. they were designed to look natural and wholesome, and it said so right on the box. quote: all natural formed and breaded organic chicken and, quote, minimally processed. i called up applegate and several weeks later had a perplexing conversation with one of the company's founders. before i'd gotten a chance to ask him about the liquid nuggets, he explained to me that applegate was definitely, quote, not in the sponge business.
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he wished to distinguish his products from so many of the other frozen nuggets on the market. when you bite into our nuggets, you'll notice that our meat is a little loose in the center. we don't want to be a tight, bound-up product like a hot dog, he said. other more conventional manufacturers, he continued, mix their products using various additives to help add in more water and bind everything together snugly, lowering the cost. when i got around to telling him about my experiment, he said that while he never tested for that sort of thing -- who would -- his chicken might be more prone to disassembly because it isn't pound together with additives -- bound together with additives. yet i later tested tyson nuggets in the same manner and got the same results. i also put the pell and evans -- bell and evans tenders that had to be thrown out. i wanted to believe healey. applegate is an independent company, and much of the meat they use is organic. the company is a big supplier to whole foods.
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but animal muscle doesn't just liquify unless something dramatic has been done to it. i told him that the combination of the brown mess in my office and the perception of the spongy texture seemed to suggest that his product was more max malley processed than minimally. i can see your point, he said, and then proceeded to launch into a discussion about leftover meatless animal product through a pressure so high that the whole thing -- the skins, the bones, connective tissue and all -- turns into a meat smoothie. the separated chicken and pork -- beef can't be due to concerns over mad cow disease -- is most commonly used in hot dogs and pizza toppings. a widely-distributed photo of it that showed a pink substance oozing like soft serve ice cream was initially mistaken for pink slime. he wanted me to know that
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applegate doesn't use this stuff. it's hard to say what exactly might have caused the company's meat to turn into goop. it may be related to the fact that as chicken strips go through an extruder, to partially form them into identical pieces, as he explained the product my husband bought is by grinding it in a mixer along with water, salt, and oregano extract. it kind of reminds you of play dough fun factories, he said. all of which allows the nuggets to remain palatable for as long as a year if the product is stored properly. despite his best intentions, which i don't doubt, applegate's nuggets may be a telling example of the industry. nuggets that resemble real chicken without dialing back some of the industrial manipulation such as multiple cooking steps. bell and evans tenders are sold
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raw. they're subject to one quick frying instead of applegate's three heating steps. the pieces in the box come in different sizes and shapes. he considers the sacrifice of some degree of authenticity to be a worthwhile trade-off in the name of certainty. in today's food safety world, uncooked really scares me. food safety is our number one priority, and we're not going to put a product out that could accidentally not be cooked properly, he said. it's a reasonable concern, although bell and evans has never had a recall, and we've never gotten sick from a chicken nugget that required 30 minutes of cooking in our toaster oven. it's the trade-offs that sometimes come attached that can be harder to grasp. especially when the word organic appears on the package. those applegate nuggets certainly weren't the worst thing in the world, but each nugget was more air and less chicken. and to me, they felt more like a
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quick, forgettable fix than a satisfying meal. i figured maybe the kids would eat more of them to compensate, but that didn't appear to happen. they would have been filling up on a greater portion of breading which was not the point of the meal. nobody answers the question what's for dinner with the answer, breading. such compromises may come in the form of inadequate nutrition, the presence of less actual food than we think or fleeting -- [inaudible] or maybe some degree of all of them. for most of us, some degree of these trade-offs is a necessary factor in the calculus of modern life. we give up something, and we get something in return. it's a useful swap as long as we realize we're making it. the trouble with processed food is that it's rarely clear what exactly it is we're eating. so, and i just want to just end by saying that, um, this book is not an argument for a world
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without processed food. it's, you know, currently our diet is about 70% processed food, which is to say highly processed food, and this part -- and processed food has a role in our lives. we're all busy. we eat processed food. clearly, we're buying frozen chicken nuggets. kids love processed food, and i think it's -- the book is really an argument for rebalancing of our diets if we care about health, if we care about how much we're spending on health care and if we just care about how we feel from day-to-day and how we feel when we wake up in the morning, maybe a rebalancing is more like 30% and that the foundation of our -- 30% processed food -- and that the foundation of our diet is, um, things that are actually can be identified as food. fresh food and things that don't always come in a box or a bag. and i think, um, at that point i
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will just leave it up to questions, questions from the audience. [applause] yes, ma'am. >> what's your opinion on -- [inaudible] what's your opinion on white bread such as wonder bread and other types of white bread? >> well, i think it's delicious. [laughter] it's -- maybe not white spread, but other kinds of white bread like french baguettes. it's just not the most nutritious because all of the good stuff that's in wheat has been refined out of it, so the germ and the brand, that's where all the nutrition is, all the vitamins, minerals and fiber. so when you eat white bread, you're just getting something that tastes kind of good.
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yes, ma'am. >> i have a question about, um, i guess in your book do you address the silicone in the chicken mcnuggets and mcdonald's hamburgers and also the gmo question? >> sure. silicone you're talking about the additive that goes into frying oil? that's used at fast food restaurants? >> my understanding is that it's actually part of the texture, if you will, of the nuggets and the beef. and that's part of what keeps it from breaking down and rotting after long periods of time. >> right. i mean, there's lots of additives in chicken nuggets and other fast food meat. although not the hamburgers. the hamburgers are mostly just ground beef, especially since they took out pink slime. but the, but i'm not aware of silicone in chicken mcnuggets. they use starches and gums to kind of keep everything together.
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there's an additive that gets added to the frying oil so that you can keep using -- it saves money. you keep using the frying oil over and over and over again, and you don't have to replace it as frequently. it's a cost issue for restaurants. i don't really talk about it in the book, but it's one of those additives that barely edible. it's basically an industrial additive. it's not anything that anybody con consumed prior to 100 years ago which is really when this whole history of processed foods started. gmos, yeah, i didn't really talk too much about gmos in the book with. 94% of all soybeans, to the extent i talk about soybeans, are genetically modified, so it's a huge percentage. but that's kind of a whole other can of worms and a whole other topic, and there have been other books that deal with that, so i didn't really delve into that. sir? >> can you say something more about preservatives and are they tested for their effect on health?
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>> yeah. one of the categories of food additives are preservatives. it's very important for foods to have a long shelf life, to be able to last. it's part of the whole system of manufacturing food. so, um, and there are a total of about 5,000 additives that go into, into our foods or they're allowed to be added to foods. not all of those are food preservatives. food preservatives are just one category. and i would say that there are a number of those food preservatives that there have been safety studies that have been done that have caused, that have raised concerns that have been done in the past. and there's just not, there's not a lot of oversight. there's not as much oversight on food additives as we would like there to be. the food additive regulatory process is, essentially, self-regulatory, so the food companies are doing the testing. the fda's hardly ever doing the testing. and then it's also, somewhat shockingly, it's also voluntary. so food companies don't have to
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notify the fda of new food additives that they want to launch into the market. the pew research center has done some great work on this x they've estimated that there are about 10,000 of these additives, kind of ghost additives that no one even really knows about that are in the market and probably going into our food. which is not to say that they're all dangerous and horrible, but we just don't know. yes, ma'am. >> how important, how important is it with dates on cans, dates on boxes? because when i was growing up back in the '50s, they didn't have dates on things, and a can was fine until it started bulging at either end. and now it doesn't do that -- >> you can get botulism from that. >> what's your outtake on that? >> well, i think the if it's one of those processed items at the supermarket, it's been packaged,
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cans would fall into that category, you really got a long window before it's going to go bad. like, i was mentioning all the food that i have in my office. if you tried to eat it, you wouldn't want to try and eat it because the flavor is gone, it's not going to taste right. but it's not going to make you sick. and i tell a story in the book of one of these research items that i, um, that i collected was a store-bought quack molely that also my husband seems to be always coming back from the supermarket with these strange products, and i looked at the ingredients on it, and there were a variety of, i mean, this was advertised in the store as fresh guacamole. they had made an announcement over the loud speaker. and i looked at the ingredients, as i always have to, and there were some things on there i had never even heard of. i was doing all this research on food additives, so i tucked it away in the back of the refrigerator, and then i pretty much forgot about it til nine months later when my mother, who
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lives with us, she announced that she had tried some of the guacamole. and initially i thought she was referring to some fresher stuff that we had bought a couple days ago for a party, but i was pretty sure that all of that was gone. and, in fact, she had tried some of the nine-month-old stuff, and i was deeply worried because she's an older woman, at more risk for food-borne illness. in the end, she was fine. she had tried this because there was no mold on it, it didn't smell bad, it wasn't even that brown. it was a little bit brown around the edges. there was no signs that this was not a fresh product. so i think the point in telling that is that food, processed food is quite principle preserve -- quite well preserved. you have to worry more when it really is fresh food like meat or maybe even sometimes dairy. yes, sir. >> is there any pending legislation about processed
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food? is this, you know, your pioneering efforts? is anything before -- >> no, it's very -- yeah. it's very hard. i mean, the food movement is dynamic, and it's growing, and there's a lot of people getting involved. but it took years and years even to get food safety legislation passed. that happened a few years ago just to update our food safety laws for things like food-borne illness like e. coli and salmonella and for the fda to start inspecting some of the imported foods that come in. so doing controversial things like trying to regulate food additives better or limit market ing to kids so that kids and moms aren't pom barded with everything in the grocery store on tv and online, it's really hard. the food industry has a lot of power, and the fda, which is the regulatory body for all this, they're pretty much underfunded, and they've got a lot on their plate, and they're just, they're just really not up to the task.
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yes, sir, in the back with the hat. >> what's your favorite meal? >> processed meal or -- >> no, just favorite overall. >> with um, i don't know. i really don't know if i have a favorite meal. probably my favorite food is cheese. so that's -- i'm of the opinion that cheese is not marley unhealthy -- particularly unhealthy if you don't eat massive quantities of it, so my challenge is not to eat massive quantities of it. sir? >> my mom, she's very picky about what she eats, and she doesn't eat a lot of different things, but she eats cheese and bread and beans sometimes. i was wondering that, you know, you said subway, they did that with the bread. is this widespread like quiz
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knows, stuff in king's -- [inaudible] and stuff like that? because she says she doesn't enjoy the taste of it anymore. she can hardly find any rolls that she likes. >> right. yeah. you know, the way a lot of modern bread is made, it's a very fast process so you don't get a lot of flavor development. so that's one of the reasons why some of the breads don't seem to have a lot of flavor. and i think you just have to read the ingredient labels, and you have to figure out is this something that has things that i don't understand and i can't pronounce and that probably no one was eating until recently, or is this a traditional food made with fairly traditional ingredients that make sense? i just think it's important, you know, probably even more important than looking at sometimes looking at the calories or the fat levels is to really understand what's in the food. and sometimes that can be hard. like quiznos, i think, i'm trying to remember, i don't think they publish their ingredient list. so sometimes you can search all
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over the web site and not find anything for these restaurants, because they're not required to report that. oh, yes, ma'am. >> do you have in by law here that says -- any law here that says that you have to, the companies must write from where the food comes? i ask you because we have a major scandal in europe at the time being. processed food has been reported -- i'm sorry, i must find the word, they must, they are said to contain pee, and nobody -- beef, and nobody knows the origin, because the meat has traveled from sweden to germany to england to romania and back and forth, and it has turned out that it was horse meat. >> yeah. i was wondering if you were talking about horse meat. >> so i don't know what will come of it, but there's -- >> are you talking about cup of origin? >> this is not my mother tongue.
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we have people asking that we must have, they must write where does the food, the ingredients come from. do you have something like that here? >> no. >> no? >> no. sometimes grocery stores will list what country it's coming from or even the farm, but it's totally discretionary. it's up to the score. and -- it's up to the store. and something like beef, especially hamburger that's ground up, it could be coming from as many as like a dozen or more different farms and even many more animals than that. so that's one of the things that people have tried to force in this case the usda, but tried to force the usda to issue trade fact systems for meat especially when there's outbreaks of food-borne illness. and there's a little -- there was something in the recent food safety legislation that tries to do that, whether it actually works we'll see. but, no, there's nothing -- it's
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very hard. and that's, part of the reason is because our food system has become so big and so distributed and so complex, and there are so many different things, different ingredients and in the case of meat, different animals coming into one product. >> a bakery whether it's king supers or safeway or whatever, and you get a box, and les about that many ip ingredients on the package, and it's small print. it doesn't take all those ingredients. are they preservatives or what? >> yeah, that's a good question. it's hard to decipher. you almost need a food dictionary to decipher those. yeah. i think a good rule of thumb is to try to find the products, to the extent they exist in a supermarket, that don't have three paragraphs of ingredients and don't sound like a chemistry experiment. so you do have to search out a little bit more, and if they
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don't carry them, maybe you ask the manager and let it be known that, you know, that's what you want. yes, ma'am. >> i have a lot of things i could, that i could ask you about, but the one thing that i, you know, she brings up, it's like my saying is looks like food, smells like food, even tastes like food, but it's not food. >> right. right, just pause it's edible doesn't mean we should eat it. yeah. >> so do you think the syntheticness pertaining to appearance and taste has reached its peak and people will smarten up and avoid or, like, veto this processed food? >> yeah, i think that's a good question. i think it depends on what people do and the choices that they make. the food industry is incredibly responsive, as a lot of
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companies are. they will give people what they want. and if people start demanding, if people decided tomorrow, you know, we don't want artificial food dyes in our food the way a lot of people have in europe, for instance, then tomorrow the food industry or -- it might take a couple months -- will find alternatives as they have done in europe. they use more natural, less problematic alternatives. so it's really something that people as consumers and as shoppers have to be aware of, and it kind of, you know, it ebbs and flows depending on how aware people are. like i read a number of books that were done in the '70s in the food movement. there was a big food movement in the '70s, kind of coming out of the growth of the counterculture movement. and food industries responded at that time by creating, by taking out some of these more horrific ingredients from their products and marketing things as more natural and trying to make an effort to make things less processed. and then, poof, it went awayment it just went back in the '80s
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when everyone kind of forgot about that. so here we are again. and whether this, you know, this really sticks, i don't know. i think it of processed influence on even ingredients for other foods. >> yeah. a lot of,

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